A boy was playing with friends on the gate of an underground car park in Leeds, pushing it open and closed.

  • The gate was pushed beyond the retaining mechanism as no end stop had been fitted to the gate track. The gate fell over, trapping and fatally crushing the child.
  • An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company that had manufactured and installed the electric gate failed to install an end stop. No-one else involved in commissioning or maintaining the gate over the next six years noticed and rectified the deficiency.
  • Company who manufactured and installed the gate fined £30,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £12,411.

Boy died when his head was crushed by the gates at the entrance to a private block of flats in Balcombe Road, Poole, Dorset.

  • Construction company was fined £80,000 for safety offences. The firm was charged with breaches under Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work (HSWA) etc. Act 1974, following the incident. The organisation played a part in designing and building these gates but failed to properly control the risks that were being created.

Schoolgirl become trapped between the gate and a post while she had been playing with a friend as the gates opened for a car on the evening of 28 June 2010

  • An investigation by the HSE found that the company’s actions “directly led” to the six-year-old’s death. No force limitation, no obstacle detection. Firm fined £50,000.

Unsafe automatic gate caused death of Limerick council employee

  • The Council was convicted of breaches of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act and fined €75,000.
  • Council was operating an “unsafe” gate, as it had only one sensor on the inside and none on the outside wall.
  • Gate did not have a “leading-edge- protection system to detect an obstruction in its path, and this could also have prevented the accident”.
  • Council had not prepared a written risk assessment for the automatic gate.

Two firms fined a total of £110,000 after five-year-old girl was pinned to a wall and crushed to death by electric gate

  • Gate’s default safety settings had been switched off.
  • Risks presented had not been properly recognised or rectified – making the gate a potentially dangerous and lethal piece of machinery
  • The gate could have easily been fitted with a safety edge which would have significantly reduced crushing forces and the gate would have reversed if the edge was fitted correctly

Electrical company fined €20,000 following automated gate death

  • An electrical company was fined €20,000 (with prosecution costs of over €12,000) for failing to carry out the necessary research on the rolling electric gate which fell and fatally injured a 44-year-old security guard in Co. Meath, Ireland in 2016. There were no end stop metal plates to prevent the gate from over traveling nor a slam end post to provide a back-up safety feature in the event that the gate left the sliding track.
What lessons should be learned?
  • Comprehensive risk assessments are essential to identify and control risks and hazards
  • Gate safety by design – it is essential to ‘design in’ safety from the outset
  • You don’t know what you don’t know – all these gates were installed by professionals and it is clear they were unaware of all the risks and how to mitigate them when either installing or maintaining the gates. If you work on electric gates, we recommend seeking out a specialist in gate safety to ensure you are fully aware of all the risks.